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An introduction to the ‘Psycho-Physiological-Stress-Test’ (PPST)-A standardized instrument for evaluating stress reactions.

An introduction to the ‘Psycho-Physiological-Stress-Test’ (PPST)-A standardized instrument for evaluating stress reactions.
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Neureiter E, Hajfani L, Ahnis A, Mierke A, Rose M, Danzer G, Klapp BF,


Neureiter E, Hajfani L, Ahnis A, Mierke A, Rose M, Danzer G, Klapp BF, (click to view)

Neureiter E, Hajfani L, Ahnis A, Mierke A, Rose M, Danzer G, Klapp BF,

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PloS one 2017 12 0112(12) e0187859 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0187859
Abstract

Using a standardized instrument to evaluate patients’ stress reactions has become more important in daily clinical routines. Different signs or symptoms of stress are often unilaterally explored: the physiological, psychological or social aspects of stress disorders are each viewed on a single dimension. However, all dimensions afflict patients who have persistent health problems due to chronic stress. Therefore, it is important to use a multidimensional approach to acquire data. The ‘Psycho-Physiological-Stress-Test’ (PPST) was established to achieve a comprehensive understanding of stress and was further developed at the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin in collaboration with the Psychological Department of Freie Universität Berlin. The PPST includes a series of varying stress phases, embedded in two periods of rest. Physiological and psychological parameters are simultaneously measured throughout the test session. Specifically, the PPST activates the sympathetic stress axis, which is measured by heart rate, blood pressure, respiration depth and rate, electro dermal activation and muscle tension (frontalis, masseter, trapezius). Psychological data are simultaneously collected, and include performance, motivation, emotion and behavior. After conducting this diagnostic test, it is possible to identify individual stress patterns that can be discussed with the individual patient to develop and recommend (outpatient) treatment strategies. This paper introduces the PPST as a standardized way to evaluate stress reactions by presenting the results from a sample of psychosomatic inpatients (n = 139) who were treated in Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany. We observed that the varying testing conditions provoked adjusted changes in the different physiological parameters and psychological levels.

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